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Find a Cause for 2013

During most of my keynote programs, I discuss my three rules for creating a "gourmet life." In most of my client engagements I've also been discussing the elements for creating a culture of high performance. In both situations I like to reinforce that there is a need to align the soul of your team to goals of the organization.

Focusing on the soul is critical for creating an environment that drives success. Certainly, building emotion is a major objective in leadership; having it and creating it must be a focus for all leaders. In previous blogs I discussed "Building Belief" (if you want a copy of it, send me an e-mail at [email protected]). While that blog discussed how to build belief in your product/service and company, I also believe there needs to be a focus on the greater good.

In my keynote program I show a PowerPoint slide that displays a Hall of Fame list of people -- some whom I know and some I don't -- who have made a difference in others' lives. I personally believe the more you contribute to the success of others, the more successful you will be. Getting others to feel good about their professional and personal success is part of the job of sales leadership. 

On my Hall of Fame list is a man in New Hampshire who takes his guitar to hospice patients and sings to them. Another is the man who started Habit for Humanity. There are the two sisters who started The Love Kitchen, which cooks for the homeless or less fortunate. Then there's the family that once a year asks their grandchildren to present their ideas for how they will choose their charity for the year. How can you bring this idea to your organization?

During your 2013 sales kickoff meeting, ask "How can we impact our community?" It would be a great session where individuals can contribute their ideas, thoughts and actions. The outcome? Assign three people to a task force, give them 45 days and ask them to present their ideas to you and then to your company's management team. Build a complete action plan where everyone becomes committed, involved and excited.

Getting  your team together and working on an ongoing community project to improve the world will build team work, morale and improve the good feelings everyone has regarding your company. This action becomes the bond and feel-good element in building a high-performance sales team. Today there are many ways to impact your community, your world and your people. Start with being a better person.

I normally close my keynote with the following three words: "And then some." These three little words are the secret to success. They are the difference between average people and top people in most companies. The top people always do what I expected...and then some.

They are thoughtful of others; they are considerate and kind...and then some.

They met their obligations and responsibilities fairly and squarely...and then some.

They are good friends and helpful neighbors...and then some.

They can be counted on in an emergency...and then some.

I am thankful for people like this, for they make the world move livable. Their spirit of service is summed up on these little words...and then some.

What is your cause for 2013?

Posted by Ken Thoreson on December 17, 2012